This last weekend, we attended a very special wedding.
Brae’s birthmom got married.
The wedding was about 3 hours away. We loaded into the car on the sweltering hot Friday afternoon and prepared for the long ride. Brae and Sienna were occupied with a movie, and I was just praying that Graem would stay asleep the whole ride. (He almost did – the last 20 minutes were a fun-filled screech fest).
We rolled into the sleepy little town shortly before the ceremony. This is a small town. A very, very small town. Quaint. Beautiful.
We pulled into the church parking lot just in time. Tygh took Brae and Sienna into the church while I tugged Graem out of his car seat to nurse him. Since I didn’t want to make a scene nursing Graem in the church, I just nursed him in the car, praying no one noticed me. (I don’t think I succeeded).
I slipped into the church just in time to see Brae’s birthmom walk down the aisle. She was stunning. This amazing, gracious young woman who changed our lives 6 years ago.
She looked radiant. Happy.
As tears rolled down my face, I slid into the back pew. I couldn’t believe this was my life. I was sitting here, with my three amazing children and my awesome husband, watching the young woman who delivered our son in a stark hospital room on a sacred Halloween night, now in a lovely white dress, beaming. I felt tremendously blessed.
I was pulled out of my daze abruptly by seeing Sienna out of the corner of my eye emerge from the bathroom, naked, running toward the wedding aisle. I catapulted Graem into Tygh’s arms, and grabbed her before she made (any more of) a scene.
We didn’t get to speak to Brae’s birthmom until the reception. But when Brae saw her, he glowed. This is the first visit where I think he has finally understood who she is to him. He marched right up to her, told her she looked beautiful, and asked her to dance.
It took my breath away, watching them, swaying to soft music.
I was so proud of him. So in love with him at that moment. So happy for him.
The rest of the night was glorious. Family member after family member (many who had only heard of us and Brae, but never met us) came up to us to introduce themselves. Many had tears in their eyes as they told us how grateful they were that we came. How Brae seemed like such a happy little boy.
I was the one who felt grateful. I mean, how many people get to experience the awesome journey of adoption? It is just surreal. It is such an amazing journey – hard at times, of course. But this, oh this, is what makes it so divine.
We watched Brae run around after his half-sister, marveling at how much they were alike – in looks and in personality. We giggled (shamefully) as Sienna zoomed across the dance floor, crawling through elderly couples’ legs sashaying across the hardwood. We had intensely meaningful conversations with Brae’s birth cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles about the pain and beauty of adoption.
And, when the night came to a close, we had memories. Tremendous memories.
We had love.
As we loaded the kids into the car, and Brae gave just one last hug to his half-sister, we felt content. We (and Brae) had even more friends and family than we knew. Who loved us. Who prayed for us.
And that is what is so special about open adoption.